The Woodward News

Sports

March 9, 2013

Durant scores 19 as Thunder defeat Bobcats

Woodward, Okla. — CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant had 19 points and seven assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 116-94 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha both had 13 points for the Thunder, who blew open a close game with 19-0 run to start the second quarter. Serge Ibaka scored 12 points, and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin each chipped in with 11.

The Thunder shot 59 percent from the field in the first three quarters to build a 90-66 lead and rested their starters the rest of the way.

Gerald Henderson scored 21 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost nine straight overall and 22 of their last 24 games at home.

The Thunder swept the season series, beating the Bobcats by a combined 65 points.

After getting blown out by 45 points at Oklahoma City in their earlier meeting on Nov. 26, the Bobcats seemed determined early on not to let this one get away.

They led 29-28 at the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Henderson, who knocked down his first five shots for 11 points.

But Charlotte's lead was short-lived. Eventually, the Thunder's talent and depth began to overwhelm the NBA-worst Bobcats.

Oklahoma City opened the second quarter by scoring 19 straight points as the Bobcats missed their first 10 shots and took nearly six minutes before Josh McRoberts knocked down an 18-footer to end a seemingly endless scoring drought.

The Thunder held a double-digit lead the rest of the way, taking a 64-50 lead into the locker room after shooting 62.2 percent from the field in the opening half. Half of their points came in the paint as Ibaka was dominant, scoring almost at will.

With Charlotte leading by one to start the second quarter, Hasheem Thabeet tipped in a Martin miss to give the Thunder the lead for good. Fisher followed with the first of three 3-pointers and the Thunder had the momentum it needed.

The Thunder outrebounded the Bobcats 49-37.

This was a break in a tough stretch of games for Oklahoma City, which defeated the Clippers, Lakers and Knicks before their arrival in Charlotte. They'll see stiffer competition next week when they host Boston and visit Sacramento.

While it may be hard to believe, the Bobcats had a 7-5 record the last time they faced the Thunder.

But their season seemed to turn with that devastating 114-69 loss. The Bobcats are 6-44 since that game and own the worst record in the NBA for the second straight season.

The Bobcats were playing without Ramon Sessions, who is out two to four weeks with a sprained MCL. That meant more playing time for Kemba Walker, who played 31 minutes in the first three quarters.

Reggie Williams saw action at point guard in the fourth quarter.

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